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Explosives company to build facility at Louisiana’s Camp Minden


Explosives company to build facility at Louisiana’s Camp Minden

Apr 12, 2024 | 3:53 pm ET
By Wesley Muller


An explosives and rocket motor manufacturer announced Friday it will build a facility at the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden Training Center.

Estes Energetics, a black powder, chemical and rocket motor manufacturing company, has committed to a $7.2 million investment for a new facility that will specialize in the production of chemicals critical to the defense industry, according to a Louisiana Economic Development (LED) news release

The new facility will be on the Bossier Parish side of Camp Minden in a 30,000-square-foot building the Louisiana National Guard owns and will sublease to the company. 

The state gave Estes a $550,000 performance-based grant and will allow it to participate in the Quality Jobs tax credit program and Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP).

Estes expects to create 12 direct new jobs with an average annual salary of more than $70,000, while retaining 22 current positions at its subsidiary, Goex Industries, which has operated in Northwest Louisiana since 1997. Goex won a U.S. Department of Defense contract in September and is the only black powder producer in North America.

Construction for the project is already underway and is expected to be completed by mid-2025 with pilot operations beginning the following year, according to LED.

The building, which has been vacant for over a decade, will be repurposed to manufacture potassium nitrate, barium nitrate, strontium nitrate, strontium oxalate, strontium peroxide, potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate and potassium sulfate. All are used in a wide range of industrial processes for the defense industry and other sectors.

Camp Minden was the site of an accidental explosion in 2012 blamed on explosives and propellants defense contractor Explo Systems improperly stored. The company later filed bankruptcy and abandoned the site, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Camp Minden is almost 15,000 acres in area and located mostly in Webster Parish. Formerly known as the Louisiana Military Ammunition Plant, it has been designated an EPA National Priorities List Superfund site primarily because of groundwater contamination. Environmental remediation is ongoing.